Social media platforms – where are they going in the next five years?

I have to admit this new world of the ‘Social Network’ is beginning to crush me. Did you know that there are over 200 registered social network sites, not including dating agency sites, currently available for you to join up with? I’m told this list is being added to almost every week. It’s mind-boggling stuff.

Okay, I get Facebook and understand its popularity. I use it quite a lot, not only as a great source for keeping in touch with friends but also for learning things I might not otherwise pick up through conventional media outlets. Leaving aside the way it mucked up over ‘Timeline’ I find it relatively easy to navigate, and easier still to view what my friends are getting up to in their personal and professional lives.

Twitter is another matter altogether. I just don’t get it! The whole idea of ‘following’ and being ‘followed’ seems reasonable until you look at what you have to do. Unlike Facebook, the messages posted by your friends (followers) can only be seen if you navigate individually onto their profile pages or if you view the general ‘posting wall’ and hope to catch a glimpse of their messages (tweets) as they scroll through at a rate faster than you can keep up with.

I read in a relatively recent internet article that Twitter is getting through 3,000 tweets per second or 25 million per day! What chance your tweet actually being seen among that lot?

I’ve come to the conclusion Twitter has become the plaything of celebrities. These ego-centric people look to attract ‘followers’ in the millions and then post (sorry, Tweet) their thoughts on everything from what they ate for breakfast to their views on world affairs. Having read some of their views on world affairs, my advice is that they should stick to the breakfast menu!

So what about the rest of us? In the Twitter grand scheme of things we don’t appear to really matter, although that won’t stop us continuing to nurture or own little corner of Twitterland.

While this is taking place the influence of sites such as LinkedIn (a businessman’s version of Facebook); Pinterest (an online pinboard for much the same things as propagated on Facebook); and Flickr (a photo-sharing site) continue to grow into the next generation of the must-have social platforms. I almost forgot about Goodreads and Google+ which are pulling in new recruits almost as fast as the Twitter scrollboard (not quite, but it sounds good).

I did mention there were over 200 sites classified within the social network family. If you’ve heard of even a fraction of them, you’re light years ahead of me. What about Audimated.com (independent music); Buzznet (pop music); DailyBooth (photo uploads); Flixster (for movies); Jaiku (a Google offshoot for microbloggers); Ning (for social websites); Pingsta (an invite-only site solely for Internet experts);

Where will it all end? Goodness knows what the next five years will bring in terms of the march of online platforms. I don’t know about you, but part of me is excited by it, while the rest of me is terrified.

What are your experiences of the social network? Have you mastered some sites? Are you always on the look-out for new sites? Are there any you can recommend?

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12 Responses to Social media platforms – where are they going in the next five years?

  1. Louis Shalako says:

    When I clicked on the ‘Share This’ button somewhere, I saw something like 344 social networks, although many of them are foreign-language. Each site has its strengths and weaknesses. Simply checking notifications takes up a fair amount of time. One time I commented on a British Formula One site. I said something nice about a German driver, and the next day, there were 280 response notifications in my inbox. It can be fun, and it has its downside.

    • joemccoubrey says:

      Thanks Louis. I agree a lot of sites can be fun, but I worry about losing myself in cyberspace!

  2. cjwestkills says:

    Great post Joe. I love Facebook and I’m trying to learn to love Twitter. I’ve made some friends there but it is still a l love hate relationship.

    Social networks are great for all those days locked up writing, but it would be so much easier if they didn’t morph and proliferate at this crazy pace.

  3. Laurence O'Bryan says:

    I love Twitter. I get a lot of people sending me messages saying how much they liked the book from all over the world. A lot pf people click through to my blog from it too. I know that because if I stop Tweeting for a few days hardly anyone gets to my blog. Twitter, Facebook, a little LinkedIn and Flickr, and that’s me. They all have their uses.

    • joemccoubrey says:

      Laurence, I get the same kind of response from Twitter – just haven’t yet figured out all its bells and whistles!

  4. Writer Connie says:

    Conservative Talk Show Host Laura Ingrahm once advised celebs who insisted on espousing their ding batted outlooks on politics and world affairs to “Shut Up and Sing!” Yep! Stick to acting, singing, playing basketball, football, etc. And I agree with her!

    Excellent post Joe! I love both Facebook and Twitter. Google plus, looks like a FaceBook spin off. I haven’t had time to try the others. I’m too busy working, sleeping, eating. . . . One can only be caught up in so much of this silliness.

    • joemccoubrey says:

      Yeah, Connie – some of things our celebrities say on Twitter are in the foot-in-the-mouth category!

  5. kevin Taggart says:

    “Hi Joe, another great blog.
    I’m a big fan of Facebook and recently “found” an old friend ( Dan) ,who I had lost contact with for over 35 years! My daughter, Linda, is getting married tomorrow and Dan and his wife are attending!! Three cheers for Facebook!

    • joemccoubrey says:

      Kevin, what a great story. I have to admit that this is the kind of thing that keeps me diving in and out of Facebook.

  6. Ruby Barnes says:

    I hear ya, Joe. Facebooked, twittered, LinkedIn’d and Google plussed your post! ;-]

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